Under the Mineral Leasing Act, the federal government leases federal land for the development of energy, minerals and other materials, and shares the revenue with the states in which the leases are held. The revenue is currently split evenly between the states and the federal government. Section 302 of the budget deal would only decrease what the states receive, leaving the federal portion intact. That would mean a total reduction of $415 million for the states, with roughly $32 million coming from Utah.
“It is unfortunate that the budget targets the mineral leasing program,” said Sen. Lee, who sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Many of Utah’s rural communities depend on this funding and we shouldn’t be pulling the rug out from under them when there are so many other wasteful and ineffective programs in the federal government to reform.”